What really is “Healthy Eating”?
Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.
But what about eating based on your goals?
When it comes to food and overall caloric intake, just because a food is “healthy” doesn’t mean it belongs in your weight loss diet. On the other hand, just because a food isn’t as nutrient dense, doesn’t mean it has a higher caloric intake.
When looking at a weight loss diet, you ideally want to fill your calories up with higher density, whole foods because these foods often lead to high satiety and reduce cravings.
While on the other hand, if your goals are more performance-based, you may be able to incorporate more simple carbohydrates. The higher your caloric intake is the harder it is to get all requirements from whole foods because of the high satiety aspect. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but at the end of the day when you have 70g of carbs left, I know I can eat 2-4 bowls of cereal with no problem. However, 2 cups of rice is going to fill me up a lot more and I may feel like I’m stuffing myself, rather than enjoying my last meal (this is just an example).
So when looking at different foods make sure you’re also relating back to your goals, because just because a food is “healthy” doesn’t mean its optimal for your fitness goals.
My 3 best tips for when you want to eat healthy but also balanced:
- Plan your meals ahead of time so 80% of your day is filled with foods that nourish you and make you feel good
- Allow for 10-20% variance for foods that may not be the most nutrient-dense but you enjoy. This may be a few pieces of chocolate, a fancy coffee if the cals allow, something that you can work into your macros or plan that allows you to feel satisfied and not restricted.
- Reintroduce foods you would consider not buying in fear of “eating them all”. If they can’t be in the house, start asking yourself why? Maybe try with a piece or two each week and slowly add them back in as part of your life. If you enjoy them why are you restricting?